Friday, July 15, 2011

Super Mario Cake Pops

My friend has two boys, and they are loving Super Mario these days. I decided to make some cake pops shaped like the Super Mario mushrooms. If you have never made cake pops they are pretty easy, the hard part is shopping for the things needed to make them. Here's what you will need:

Cake - cooked not iced. Can be any flavor.
Icing - buttercream works best, any flavor
Candy melts, also know as molding wafers these are a chocolate based product
About 1 tbsp shortening
Lolly Pop Sticks
Something to hold up the cake pops while they are drying, I use a piece of florist foam.

Take your cake and crumble it up into a bowl. Use your hands and really break in down. Add the icing. A good ratio for me is for every 4 cups of crumbled cake add 1/4 cup of the icing. Combine the cake and icing, mixing until all the cake is coated. Don't use too much icing. The finished product is really sweet, use just enough icing to bind the cake.

Next start making balls. I use a small ice cream scoop to keep my balls all the same size. Put the finished balls in the freezer to firm up, for about 10-15 minutes, don't freeze them!

While the balls are in the freezer start melting your wafers. Find a small pot and a heat proof bowl to fit over the pot. A small pot and bowl works best you want the melted chocolate in the bowl to be deep enough to dip. If you use a large bowl you would have to melt a lot more chocolate. The bowl needs to be able to sit over the pot without touching the bottom. Put about 1/2 cup of water into the pot, and bring it too a boil. Add the wafers to the bowl. Use about 2 cups to start, you can always add more. Set the bowl over the pot. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 tbsp of shortening to the wafers, this will give the wafer more fluidity and make it easier to coat the balls. I used white wafers in my first bowl.

When the chocolate is melted turn the heat to the lowest setting, and get your balls out of the freezer. To give the balls a mushroom shape I squished the bottoms of the balls by wrapping my thumb and pointer finger around the ball, then I push the top of the ball down, with my other hand to give it a mushroom shape.

Once you have shaped all the balls into mushrooms get your florist foam and sticks ready. Take a stick and dip the tip of it into the melted chocolate, then insert the chocolate covered tip into the bottom of the mushroom ball. Stick the stick with the ball on top into the florist foam, the chocolate inside the ball will set, making the pop more stable when we dip it in the chocolate later. Once you have stuck all your balls onto the sticks its time to start dipping.

Take a pop and dip it into the chocolate, you want to work quickly. Twirl the pop in the chocolate until it is coated. Now the next part takes some patience. Lift the pop out of the chocolate, letting the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. You will need to tap the stick on the edge of the bowl while twirling until the chocolate sets up a bit. If you don't do this step the chocolate will drip down the stick and make a big mess. Adjusting the temperature of the melting chocolate in the bowl will help with this step. Move it off the element if it gets to runny, them move it back on when it starts hardening up. When all the excess chocolate had dripped off set  the stick in the florist foam to dry completely.

To get the green and red mushroom tops melt red and green wafers and dip just the mushroom tops into the colored melted chocolate, let it harden, then using a paint brush and the melted white wafers paint on some spots.

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